Location is a major barrier to treatment for many people suffering from substance use disorder. Drug and alcohol addiction is best treated at a residential or outpatient rehab facility, but people located in rural regions or who lack the ability to take extended leave or finance rehab are left wondering what their options are. Thankfully, in the digital age, online substance abuse treatment from certified addiction counselors is a viable option. Online addiction treatment may not be for everyone, but it presents people with the ability to get help and start tackling their addiction from the comfort of their own home.
How Does Online Substance Abuse Treatment Work?
Through video chats, online group therapy meetings and messages, online substance abuse counseling helps people work toward sobriety from their computer. Some people prefer online rehab because it’s private; for those who have kept their struggle with addiction a secret, there is a great deal of comfort and security in seeking help online. Those who cannot afford to go to rehab or do not have the means of commuting can access a personalized addiction treatment plan without having to spend a lot of money.
Video conferences replace in-person meetings, and group therapy is still a large component of the program. Participants can see and talk to their counselor and peers face-to-face, share their story, build new skills and strive toward recovery together. Online addiction programs offer people the chance to “test the waters” and find out whether or not rehab is for them. Of course, we believe that rehab is for everyone, but some people need a safe space to act as a stepping stone to in-person counseling.
The Benefits of Online Substance Abuse Treatment
People are able to access a wealth of information relating to addiction, treatment, sobriety maintenance, and relapse prevention when they participate in an online program. In addition, access to a certified substance abuse counselor, social worker or psychotherapist ensures a personalized plan that takes each individual client’s addiction story, hardships, and current circumstances into account.
The ability to stay closely connected to recovery and addiction resources is another major benefit of online rehab. Many people worry that they won’t be able to stay sober after leaving an in-person facility, but with an online substance abuse treatment program, help is literally in the palm of your hands at all times. The same therapeutic models and techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are used online as they are in person. Therapists still screen their clients for mental health disorders that could be fueling their addiction, and they develop personalized treatment plans accordingly.
Types of Online Substance Abuse Treatment
Addiction counseling varies by rehab and even has nuances with individual counselors. Some prefer a more direct approach, while others focus on foundations and build up their clients’ resilience little by little. With an online program, you can try out therapy and see whether or not a particular model is a right choice for you without feeling physically “trapped” in an actual rehab facility. There are several different forms of addiction treatment models that are popular in online programs. There’s CBT, as previously mentioned, which helps clients tackle addiction by identifying and changing their negative thoughts and behavioral patterns. Another popular addiction program is SMART, which stands for “Self-Management and Recovery Training.” This program operates under four core values:
- Develop and sustain motivation
- Learn to cope with and handle cravings
- Change and manage thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about one’s self and addiction
- Live a fulfilling, balanced life
Choosing an Online Program
The best thing you can do before signing up for any program is to thoroughly investigate the rehab that offers it. Counselors should all be certified through the state; there are different types of mental health professionals who work at rehabs, so understanding their titles can ensure you are able to choose a reliable rehab for your recovery.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have an MD after their name, e.g. Robert Brown, MD. They may be responsible for treating mental illnesses diagnosed with addiction through prescription medication
- Psychologists and psychotherapists have a doctorate degree, and their names are followed by Ph.D. or Psy.D., e.g. Miriam Ross, PhD. These professionals can treat clients one-on-one or lead group therapy.
- Social workers and licensed mental health therapists. These are often substance abuse counselors with an MA, MS or LCSW after their name, e.g. Sarah Hartfield, MA.
- Licensed substance abuse counselors who have received training and acquired licensure through the state.
If you’re ready to find the right rehab for you, online or in-person, give us a call at 866-300-6707. We can match you with the best addiction programs for you anytime; contact us today to get started.